04/26/2012 01:26 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Lucy the elephant to stay in Edmonton

The Supreme Court of Canada will not be getting involved in a fight over a 36-year-old Asian elephant in an Edmonton zoo.

The high court has decided it won't hear an animal rights group's appeal in an ongoing campaign to have Lucy moved to a warm-weather wildlife sanctuary in the U.S.

"While the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s long term goal is not to house elephants, the City of Edmonton will continue to make decisions in the best interest of Lucy — an individual animal with individual needs," said city solicitor Steven Phipps.

"Given Lucy’s complex and unique respiratory condition, an internationally respected elephant expert has clearly stated the best course of action is for Lucy to remain in Edmonton," he said in a press release Thursday.

City officials have said Lucy has manageable health issues, but a breathing problem could be life-threatening during the stress of a move.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Zoocheck wanted to sue the City of Edmonton over its refusal to move Lucy.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the action in 2010. That decision was upheld in a split decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal last August.

One of the appeal court justices wrote a dissenting opinion, saying the groups should have public standing in the matter and it should go to trial.

The Supreme Court, which does not provide reasons behind its decisions, rejected hearing the appeal.